4100 Northpoint Blvd.
Baltimore, Maryland 21222

Call For Reservations: 410.477.1975

Crab Terminology You Should Know

crab terminology

How much do you know about Maryland’s favorite crustacean?

How well do you know your crabs? When it comes down to the deliciousness of crab meat, it may not matter what each part of the crab is called. But for those who are obsessed with crabs, like us, it’s fun to be able to name every part of the crab, from the tiny back legs to the delicious meat inside. So, read on to learn more about Maryland’s favorite treat!

Essential Crab Terminology

Here’s some useful crab terminology for you crab fanatics! How many of these terms do you know?


  • Mustard: The term “mustard” (or “tomalley” if you’re in the western US) refers to the crab’s fat! Crab fat has been dubbed “mustard” because of the dijon yellow color of the fat, although it can also come in green or white.
  • Roe: This is the bright orange crab eggs found inside female crabs. Roe is often steamed until it solidifies, then served as a salty garnish on Asian dishes.
  • Jumbo lump: We all know that anything made with jumbo lump crab, like our Crab Imperial or our crab cakes, is going to be good. This is because jumbo lump crab meat is the largest chunks of crab meat that comes from the swimming fins of the crab. Jumbo lump meat is the best part of the crab because of its flavor, presentation, and size.
  • Backfin: backfin comes from the back of the crab and is flakier and smaller in size, which makes it less expensive and less in demand.
  • Apron: This is the plate on the bottom of the crab that determines if a crab is female or male. Fun fact: Maryland Blue Crabs that are male have a narrow apron shaped like the Washington Monument, while females have a broad apron shaped like the dome of the Capitol Building! No wonder Blue Crabs are Maryland’s official state crustacean!
  • Jimmy: This is the name for a male crab.
  • Sally: This is the name for a female crab.
  • Sponge crab: These are fertilized crabs that have eggs in their abdomens. In Maryland, we throw these crabs back so that they can continue to reproduce!


Come Visit Costas Inn!

Costas Inn has been a family owned and operated restaurant for over 40 years. We were recently voted the 2015 #1 Baltimore Seafood Restaurant by USA Today. You may have spotted Costas Inn during one of our 9 appearances on the Today Show or heard one of our many interviews on WJZ TV Channel 13 with Ron Matz and Marty Bass. We were also voted #1 Crab Restaurant 2014 in the Baltimore Business Journal! You can enjoy our famous crab cakes in-house or order them online for anytime eating. We also provide some of the best seafood catering in the Baltimore area! You can also get your fill from Costas even when you’re not in our dining room: follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube!

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    Online gift cards make a great gift that can be redeemed for any products available at costasinn.com only. Not redeemable at the restaurant.

  • More Information About Crabcake Delivery: What Are Some of Our House Policies?

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    A 10.95 charge will be applied for next day delivery on Gift Certificates. If you desire regular shipping via USPS, please call Pete at 410-477-1975.  

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    One 5 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake  Garnish and roll not included

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  • What Makes a Maryland Crab So Special?

    8 oz. Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake

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Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 699 reviews
4100 Northpoint Blvd. Baltimore , Maryland
410-477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes
Costas Inn
5 stars - based on 695 reviews
4100 North Point Boulevard Baltimore , Maryland 21222
(410) 477-1975 URL of Map Categories: Seafood & Crabs Price Range: $$ Takes Reservations: yes